Senate President Stivers still hopeful pension reform bill can be introduced within first week or two of session

01/02/2018 03:50 PM

FRANKFORT – Pensions were on the mind of legislators as the 60-day 2018 General Assembly session got underway on Tuesday.

The number one issue to be deal with is a pension reform bill since a special session that Gov. Matt Bevin planned to call to address the issue did not happen in 2017.

Senate President Robert Stivers, R-Manchester, says that he is hopeful that a bill will be introduced early in the session.

“We hope to get something related to the pensions as soon as possible,” Stivers said. “Certain things such as actuarial scoring, the process of the respective chambers getting themselves and their leaderships established so we can move forward, but hopefully within a few days, we will have something in the House or the senate related to pensions.”

Stivers doesn’t care if the initial bill starts in the Senate or House.

“I have no preference, I just think we need to get it done,” Stivers said. “People say this is tough, it is tough. It is tough, but this is what we were elected to do.”

Many suggest that the pension issue must be solved before a budget can be crafted.

Stivers says that’s not necessarily true, but if pension reform does not take place, the cuts would be devastating.

“It would mean a draconian budget if it is not,” Stivers said. “I think that’s why we need to deal with it to know what our budget will look like knowing the contributions to our general fund that will have to be designated to deal with our pension obligations.”

If a pension bill is proposed, Stivers believes that all parties involved will have ample opportunity to respond before a vote is taken.

“There will be ample opportunity for people, having what they knew out of the first bill, what’s going to be in the culmination of the changes in this next bill. It will be easily understood, easily read, they’ll have ample time to comment before it goes to votes in respective chambers.”


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